Nnamdi Nwachukwu, MS
In order to be a change agent in this current system, it is imperative that I develop an understanding of the entire ecosystem and not just those components that are adjacent to my current environment in bio-pharmaceutical development.
As Vice President, Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations, I am responsible for helping clients perform due diligence, develop the strategy for commercialization and manage risk for product development and execution of clinical trials. In addition to lifecycle management responsibilities, I have been given the opportunity to manage our organization’s Information Technology. As bio-pharmaceutical development adopts more electronic and computational systems tools, this expertise will be critical to remain competitive.
What attracted you to the MHCDS program?
I was looking for two things. First, I desired management training that was tailored towards individuals in senior management that focused on leadership, data science, and policy. Understanding these areas are critical to success in the evolving health care arena. Secondly, I wanted to expand my sphere of understanding beyond the bio-pharmaceutical industry. Most of what is considered ‘healthcare’ by patients, happens after a pharmaceutical product is made available to the public. In order to be a change agent in this current system, it is imperative that I develop an understanding of the entire ecosystem and not just those components that are adjacent to my current environment.
Did you consider any other type of master’s program?
I attended several campus visits for MBA and MPA programs. I found that many were either indistinguishable from others or offered repeats of my undergraduate business courses. The breadth of the curriculum and quality of the full-time faculty, coupled with the on-campus residential schedule and online flexibility made this program my target program compared to similar programs at peer institutions. The combination of the Tuck School of Business and the Geisel School of Medicine allows us to leverage the resources two of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning.
The best part of the program so far, without a doubt, is interaction with my classmates. The extent of management and clinical experience spans multiple disciplines of medicine and sectors of healthcare. Being able to text a classmate, who happens to be a CEO, to get their input on a strategy document or lean over in class and dissect the impact of new legislation from a policy expert provides a level of access that is difficult to reproduce even in a work environment. My classmates are at the top of their respective fields and it is a humbling experience to be able to learn from them and build meaningful relationships.
How have you used the skills/knowledge you have gained so far?
Coming from the biotech space, we typically interface with individuals that have a common background or baseline with respect to how products are made and what steps are necessary to get from the research phase to commercial licensure. It is a fairly complicated process and involves lots of science, clinical expertise and most importantly people. In the Strategy for Healthcare Organizations and Aligning People and Teams courses, we explore the power of speaking simply and ensuring our dialogue has been effective in establishing a baseline for our audience to understand the often dense and jargon-riddled code of healthcare language. We have also explored the power of inclusion to illicit diversity of thought and experience when making decisions that will affect the larger population. I use both of these experiences when engaging clients, regulators and patients about the benefits and associated risks of therapeutic products.
Is there anything else that you would tell a friend or colleague who was considering the MHCDS program?
In my opinion, the strength of this program is a connection to a community that aims to do more than just get a promotion or a new job. You will be equipped with the managerial skills to climb the corporate ladder and discern between what is, and what is not meaningful clinical data. I do not discount the priority of personal advancement but more importantly, you will understand how one activity is connected to the next and inform you of how the patient is ultimately being helped or harmed. The people and stories you will encounter in your classroom and in the field will open your eyes to aspects of the healthcare ecosystem, you probably think you understand, but may only be scratching the surface. Your professors and colleagues will help you navigate the myriad of specialties in healthcare and encourage you to address your weaknesses. You will leave this program a much more knowledgeable and capable change agent to address the deficiencies in our healthcare system.